Our Lent began with a retreat


After more than two precautious years from Covid-19, the St. Clement community is trying this year– also with precaution – to have a normal preparation for our Lenten season of 2022. We started out with a Mardis Gras celebration weekend with the help of the Knights of Columbus of St. Joseph’s Parish, who assisted our confreres with opportunities to try many kinds of games that we used to have before the pandemic. The lunch party was full of laughter and good food, including a traditional King Cake sent to us from friends in New Orleans. 

News of the war in Ukraine saddened our atmosphere of celebration. During our Saturday Mass, we fervently prayed for the safety of our Redemptorist confreres in Ukraine who are ministering to people who came to their houses to hide from the bombing. We have also contributed $1,000 to the Solidarity fund to aid our confreres’ ministry in Ukraine. 

Our annual retreat of 2022 started on Ash Wednesday with Fr. Jack Kingsbury, North American Conference Coordinator, leading the Lenten reflections. Fr. Jack proposed to our community a very appropriate theme: Intercessory Prayer. He came up with this theme after praying and reflecting on how he can best help this community of confreres who have ministered to others most of their lives and are now being ministered to. He proposed that we can model our spiritual activities after Esther in the Bible, who interceded with the King of Persia Ahasuerus not to kill off the Jewish people. Esther had to prepare herself to raise up to the task to present her request to the King. 

O. Jack Kingsbury places the sign of ashes on the forehead of a confrere during the Ash Wednesday liturgy

It has been said that the community of St. Clement is a “power-house” of prayer. Every day people send us prayer requests, which are placed in front of the Our Mother of Perpetual Icon so that they are included in our prayers all day long. As our ministry in the North American Conference focuses on praying for the ‘Nones’, the Migrants, the Refugees and for vocations, we use our time during this Lent to prepare ourselves to present to God our intercessions for other people. 

We hope that this retreat will help us to take our prayer to a deeper spiritual level and renew us in our Redemptorist missionary charism of prayer for our wounded world. 

Courtesy of Denverlink, update of March 11, 2022.